Vegan Coconut Rum Cake (no eggs, no dairy)

Vegan Coconut Rum Cake

This evening, I needed to make a birthday cake for a vegan friend… and I’ve already made her a Chocolate Bundt Cake with Peanut Butter Glaze several times (based on the cake portion of my Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake recipe which doesn’t require dairy or eggs)… thinking it was time to bake something different, I modified [...]

Glühwein (Austrian mulled wine)

Austrian Glühwein

Glühwein is a traditional beverage (served hot) during the Christmas holidays in Austria and Germany.  It is typically made with red wine, spices, and sugar… and heated gently to avoid cooking out the alcohol. This is my father’s recipe for Glühwein.  He’s never written it down, but I’ve been watching him make it every Christmas [...]

Spicy Tangerine Margerita

Spicy Tangerine Margarita

There’s a restaurant nearby that we go to sometimes that has a wonderful margarita called the “spicy tangerine”.   It has a lovely sweetness, with a mild kick of spice and heat. This is my homemade version of that drink – use fresh limes & tangerines to make the juice for the best flavor! Enjoy! [...]

La Paloma (Tequila and Grapefruit Cocktail)

Paloma (Grapefruit & Tequila Cocktail)

What is “La Paloma“?  This is a Mexican cocktail – commonly prepared by mixing tequila with grapefruit flavored soda.  In other versions, the grapefruit soda can be replaced with fresh grapefruit juice, fresh lime juice, and topped with sparkling soda water. According to many sources, the first published recipe for La Paloma was in a [...]

Asian coleslaw with sweet sesame dressing

Asian coleslaw with sweet sesame dressing

Here’s one of my basic stand-by side dishes: Asian style coleslaw with a sweet sesame dressing (no mayo!).  It’s pretty easy to prepare, and works well as a quick salad or side to accompany your meal! For best results, use Savoy cabbage (it’s the round head of cabbage with wrinkly looking leaves).  If you can’t [...]

Cherry Plum Basil Gimlet Cocktail

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The other day I was at the supermarket and saw a new fruit… a cherry and plum hybrid, called the “Very Cherry Plum”.  I was excited to try them… and they did not disappoint!  These were sweet and juicy plums with a subtle cherry essence – pure summer in a fruit!  So of course, my [...]

Sekihan (Japanese Sweet Rice with Azuki Beans)


Sekihan 赤飯  (Japanese red beans with sticky rice) was one of those savory dishes that I didn’t get to eat often as a child… but was a favorite!  Usually, we would only get sekihan on those special once in awhile trips downtown to Little Tokyo – which wasn’t that often since my mother would always [...]

Millionaire Margarita

Millionaire Margarita

At our favorite local Mexican restaurant, they have a wonderful margarita on the menu called the “Millionaire Margarita“.  How is this different from a regular margarita?  Well, most “basic margaritas” will have some combination of tequila, orange flavored liqueur (like triple sec/Cointreau), lime juice or sour mix, and sometimes a sweetener.  The “Millionaire Margarita”, on [...]

Strawberry Shortcake Martini/Cocktail Mix

Strawberry Shortcake Martini Mix

Recently, we attended a wonderful family wedding… and afterwards, there was a TON of leftover vodka.  We had one full 1.75L bottle… PLUS another almost-full 1.75L bottle of vodka.  Since the bride and groom are from out of town and couldn’t bring all the leftovers back home… we ended up with all of it!  What [...]

Homemade Passionfruit and Apple Cider syrup cocktails: The Avenue & The Ciderhouse Whiskey

Homemade syrup cocktails:  "Ciderhouse Whiskey" served on the rocks, and "The Avenue" served up

Lately, I’ve been trying my hand at craft cocktails… trying to come up with interesting and delicious drinks to serve to my friends when they come over for dinner!  I’ve made a bunch of different martinis that have had good reviews… the Roy’s Hawaiian Martini, Fresh Squeezed Lemon Drop Martini, Pear Martini, and the Thai Coconut Lemongrass [...]